Our objective was to describe mentoring practices among gynecologic oncologists.METHODS:
We conducted a cross-sectional survey of gynecologic oncology physician members of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology. A survey sent to female gynecologic oncologists in 1998 was expanded, piloted, and administered electronically (DataStat Illume). Our 2015 instrument contained 75 fixed response questions in 4 domains: Demographics; Mentoring issues; Work-life Balance; Caregiving Responsibilities. Data was analyzed using Chi-square/Fisher's exact test (Stata 10).RESULTS:
We had a 22% response rate (268 of 1246), comprised of 64% women and 36% men. Fifty percent were between the ages of 30–40. 54% were in academic practice and 21% in fellowship. The majority (50%) reported currently having a mentor. Most (54%) had a male mentor, but 25% had both a male and female mentor. 41% of women had only a male mentor, while only 8% of men had only a female mentor. Most classified their mentor as academic (86%), but 29% reported a personal mentor. More women than men felt that it was somewhat important, important or very important that a mentor be the same gender (68.6% vs 41.7%, P<.001). Whether it was important that a mentor have children also differed between genders (37.5% of men vs 64.5% of women, P<.001). Formal mentoring programs were uncommon (28%). The majority (58%) also served as mentors themselves.CONCLUSION:
The majority of gynecologic oncologists both receive and provide mentorship, despite few formal programs. Women placed greater value on having a mentor of the same gender and with children.